Snapping a five-day winning streak, Canadian stocks ended in the red Friday, with commodities faltering amid eurozone worries even after Europe approved a bailout deal for Spain's troubled banking sector.
Meanwhile, data out of Canada revealed June inflation at 1.5 percent, lower than the consensus estimate of 1.7 percent.
In corporate news from the U.S., diversified conglomerate General Electric Co. (GE) posted higher second-quarter operating earnings of $4.0 billion or $0.38 per share, compared with $3.75 billion or $0.34 per share in the previous year. Analysts expected earnings of $0.37 per share for the quarter.
Toronto's main index, the S&P/TSX, closed Friday at 11,622.91, down 42.79 points or 0.37 percent. The S&P/TSX Composite Index touched an intraday high of 11,642.65 and a low of 11,586.32.
The major decliners on the S&P/TSX Index were the Metals & Mining Index, the Energy Index, and Financial Index.
The Metals & Mining Index dropped 1.99 percent with Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) shedding 1.19 percent, while Teck Resources Limited (TCK.B.TO) was down 2.08 percent. First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost 1.81 percent.
Gold futures for August delivery gained $2.40 or 0.2 percent to close at $1,582.80 an ounce Friday on the NYMEX. The Global Gold Index moved up 0.49 percent, while the Capped Materials Index inched up 0.03 percent.
Among gold stocks, Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) moved up 1.31 percent, Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO) slipped 0.37 percent, and Kinross Gold Corp. (K.TO) improved 1.12 percent.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (POT.TO) edged up 0.59 percent, while Agrium Inc. (AGU.TO) gathered 0.74 percent.
Transportation systems maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) slipped 0.26 percent, while Blackberry maker Research In Motion Limited (RIM.TO) declined 2.28 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures for August delivery, shed $1.22 or 1.3 percent to close at $91.44 a barrel Friday on the NYMEX.
The Energy Index dropped 0.47 percent with Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ.TO) slipping 0.66 percent, Suncor Energy Inc. (SU.TO) down 0.36 percent, and Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) down 0.81 percent.
The Financial Index was down 0.62 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) edging down 0.47 percent, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) down 0.89 percent, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) edging down 0.63 percent.
In economic news, Statistics Canada said consumer prices rose 1.5 percent year-over-year in June, following a 1.2 percent gain in May, due largely to higher prices for passenger vehicles and to a lesser extent, for electricity. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, inflation declined 0.2 percent in June, after decreasing 0.3 percent the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada's core index rose 2.0 percent in the 12 months to June, following a 1.8 percent gain in May. On a monthly basis, the seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.1 percent in June, after declining 0.1 percent in May.
From the the eurozone, producer price inflation in Germany slipped in June to its lowest level since May 2010, the Federal Statistical Office said. The producer price index rose 1.6 percent year-on-year in June from 2.1 percent in May. This was the lowest rate of inflation since May 2010, when it stood at 0.9 percent. Economists expected an increase of 1.8 percent in the producer price index.
The Spanish government cut its economic forecast and expects recession to extend into next year as it adopts more austerity measures. The Spanish economy is now expected to shrink 0.5 percent in 2013, against an earlier growth forecast of 0.2 percent. The economy is expected contract 1.5 percent this year, slightly less than the 1.7 percent decline predicted earlier. For 2014 and 2015, the Spanish economy is forecast to grow 1.2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, Eurozone finance ministers gave their final nod of approval for a 100 billion euro bailout deal for troubled Spanish banks on Friday.
by RTT Staff Writer
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